Cheryl Leonard: New Natural Sounds

  • Meridian Gallery 535 Powell Street San Francisco, CA USA

Cheryl Leonard performs a set of music and multimedia works inspired by polar environments and ecosystems. Leonard will play natural-object instruments made from limpet shells, penguin bones, rocks and driftwood, together with field recordings of ice and water from both the Arctic and Antarctic. The evening will include the premiere of a new composition about melting glaciers and video/music collaborations with visual artists Oona Stern (Brooklyn, NY) and Genevieve Swifte (Canberra, Australia).


Cheryl E. Leonard is a composer, performer, and instrument builder. Over the last decade she has focused on investigating sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Leonard is fascinated by the subtle intricacies of sounds. She uses microphones to explore micro-aural worlds hidden within her sound sources and develops compositions that highlight the unique voices they contain. Her projects often feature one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments and field recordings from remote locales.

Leonard has received grants from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, ASCAP, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, and the Eric Stokes Fund. Her commissions include works for Kronos Quartet and Illuminated Corridor. She has been awarded residencies at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Djerassi, Arctic Circle, and Villa Montalvo. Recordings of her music are available from NEXMAP, Unusual Animals, Pax, Evolving Door, Apraxia, 23 Five, and Great Hoary Marmot Music.